The litigation alternative to obtain a divorce is a process which specifically involves the Court system in which the judge ultimately decides the issues and the parties are required to perform certain tasks within the judicial framework.
This process involves:
- Filing or being served with a petition for dissolution(divorce)
- Responding to the petition with an answer within a specified time and then, if desired, filing a counterpetition to provide one’s own perspective and desired outcome.
- Having to produce financial and other documents within specified periods of time
- Hiring “experts” and arranging for witnesses to assist you in proving your case
- Appearing in court for hearings and/or case management conferences
- Appearing at depositions and responding under oath to questions from the spouse’s attorney
- Attending a mediation prior to final hearing
- Attending the final hearing if the case is not settled prior to that date, either by negotiation or mediation. the final hearing could take anywhere from a few hours to a few days or a few weeks depending on the issues involved, their complexity and the court’s schedule.
The above list is not meant to be all-inclusive but is an overview of the basics involved. Should one party wish to contest the judge’s decision, the contesting party may appeal in an attempt to have the case overturned or retried.